What? Podcasting?

First, I’ll get this out of the way. I’ve decided to do a podcast to go along with this blog, since a lot of people would rather listen than read (like my husband). Some posts will work better than others. I’m still working out the kinks (like adding a consistent intro and ending blurb, but I do have three of them up at this site.

I have not gone overboard on this design.

Currently, it appears to be on Spotify, but maybe you can find it elsewhere. I did one post with an “automatically translate” feature, but I haven’t listened to it yet. Let me know if you listen. I can re-record if it’s totally awful.

I plan to slow down my speech (I do actually know how to record things, since I did it for my job for a long time), but I was having a lot of equipment issues at the ranch, due to my fancy headphones and/or something preventing me from playing back sounds.

Podcasts and Me

It’s sorta funny that I have resisted doing a podcast for so long, given my long history with them. Back when I was working for the nonprofit organization, one of my dearest coworkers, Elisabeth Lewin, was a podcasting pioneer, and she got us all set up doing podcasts from our international conference. I was (and still am) in awe of her equipment. I learned a lot from her.

I took what I learned and was able to help my musician housemate, Jeff Tveraas, get a website and all the accoutrements needed to set up a podcast of his own, which was called the Austin Connection. I really enjoyed those and was sad when he had to stop producing them, and wish the old episodes were still available.

I’ve watched as every single radio show I listen to has developed its own podcasts, as every vaguely famous news person has done, etc. And I’ve seen some of the blogs I read move to podcast-only format. I even pay money to a couple of people to support their blogs or YouTube channels that I actually don’t listen to. It’s obvious where the trend is going.

Nonetheless, I am apparently NOT an audio learner, so I never enjoyed listening to them, myself. I’ll listen to some of the ones Lee shares, but for some reason, I have no patience with wading through the sponsorship information, the plugs for how to obtain them, and the listening itself. I blame the fact that I read so quickly on my impatience with spoken media. I can zip through a blog, unless I pause to enjoy photos, while a podcast takes, well, as long as a podcast takes (same with learning off YouTube; I can’t stand all the blather).

Still, as I mentioned, I recorded e-learning videos for many years, which were like podcasts with accompanying slideshows. I’m not afraid of microphones, audio editing equipment or anything like that. I could easily make podcasts, but didn’t want to bother with all the uploading and editing.

So Now

When WordPress started hounding me to turn my blog posts into podcasts, I ignored it for a while. Then I started thinking about my husband, who will not go onto Facebook unless he has to say something for work and who hasn’t been able to figure out how to get my blog posts mailed to him. He does listen to podcasts, pretty much all the time, including when he is sleeping. What better way to reach him than to speak to him in his sleep! Creepy fun, right?

Plus, it’s something else to do! I love me a good project! The Anchor software that WordPress promotes makes it easy to do a podcast, as long as you have a microphone. There’s not a lot of editing software that I can use, so I’ll just leave my mess-ups in there. And I will see if I can get a son to record me some soft guitar music (NOT lengthy) to put on the opening.

The folks at Anchor claim you can make money from people subscribing to your blog. Yeah, right, the people at WordPress say I can make money from people looking at ads on my blog, and so far I have amassed nearly $60 (in over a year)!

But, what the heck, if you are a fan of my blog, or want to support the podcasting thereof, you are very welcome to subscribe. After all, I’ll need income after I retire.

Note that there’s a $.99 option!

You are ALSO very welcome to continue to read my blog for fun, entertainment, or to help you get to sleep. I’m happy to have an outlet for venting and sharing nature stuff, but, if someone wants to listen to me talk, they can do that, too. Just look for The Hermits’ Rest on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. I love subscribers, and will not turn down supporters!

Boom! Stats Galore!

Well, yesterday was a fun one for me on WordPress. Innocently enough, I’d posted the pattern for my Fireside Wrap on Ravelry (the popular fiber arts community website), thinking someone else might like to make one. I thought no more about it, and spent most of the day watching clouds.

Sunbeams shining on our house, way in the distance.

Then, I started getting notices that my stats were booming. Hmm, I didn’t think the post about the chicken palace was THAT interesting. So, I checked out what was happening. Oh, of course. The pattern.

Don’t I look all official.

I’d forgotten that new patterns go into a little featured area, where people can look through them. People were obviously looking (drawn by the photo of Penney, no doubt). I monitored the posts all day long, figuring I’d have more hits than usual, but not all that many more. I underestimated how many people look at the Ravelry site on any given day. Lots.

Whoa, that’s some stats!

I never had more than 200 views per day, as far as I can remember. This is not a hugely popular blog (and that’s fine with me; I write it for me, my friends, and nice other people who happen to find it). Thus, 558 blew me away. It certainly makes the rest of the week look sad, right? I’ve already got 78 this morning (written around 10:15 am), which is more usual for a normal day or a medium-popular post or posts.

As expected, the two posts about the wrap/blanket accounted for most of the hits. Still, even without the surge, there were 146 views, more than usual. I think what’s happened is that I hit the magic number of followers that gets the blog picked up by WordPress to display under certain keywords, so my tagging has done its job.

It looks like the mother ship is about to beam the Hermits’ Rest up!

Actually, I noticed that since I hit 400 WordPress followers, I’ve gotten new follows at a much higher rate. I’ve gotten 50 followers since December 4. Also, more and more people are “liking” past posts, which means they got displayed somewhere, because certainly no one is searching for them! Algorithms are pretty interesting, even for people who don’t blog JUST to attract hits and followers.

I’m glad I’m doing something right, and I’m glad that a few people might make a simple, yet pretty wrap like I made. It’s good to give back to the community in a small way. I’ll never be the fancy pattern designer I’d hoped to be, back when I was trying to be a part of the cool kids in the knitting community, but I’m there, and that’s what counts.